Joe Biden breaks Barack Obama’s vote record, as Trump campaign challenges count in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
- In the US, all eyes are on the vote count in key states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina to decide the race for the White House.
- Michigan, an important swing state, has been called for Democratic candidate Joe Biden by the Associated Press.
- Biden said he “believes” he will win. He flipped Arizona and Wisconsin, while taking California, Washington, New York and Illinois.
- US President Donald Trump prematurely claimed victory and has continued to falsely claim that ballots counted after Election Day signal malfeasance. He takes Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri and Texas.
- The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits to halt the vote count in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan. It also said it will ask for a recount in Wisconsin.
Vote counting continues in Georgia
Vote counting continued in Atlanta, Georgia – one of a handful of states that is still yet to be declared following the election on Tuesday.
There was a narrow margin between Trump and Biden in Georgia, a close race in a state that has not backed a Democrat for president since 1992. There is no automatic recount, but a candidate can request one if the margin is within 0.5 percent.
Unlike in previous years, states are contending with an avalanche of mail ballots driven by the global pandemic.
Harris’s ancestral village in India hopeful as Biden leads count
Villagers in the Indian ancestral home of Kamala Harris have painted slogans on roads wishing her victory as Joe Biden, her Democrat running mate in the United States presidential election, moved closer to the White House.
Thulasendrapuram, located about 320km (200 miles) south of the coastal city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu state, is where Harris’s maternal grandfather was born more than a century ago.
“From yesterday, we are excited about the final result,” said Abirami, a resident of the village. “Now, we are hearing positive news. We are waiting to celebrate her victory.”
Biden’s lead in Arizona narrows
Authorities in Maricopa County have posted new vote totals, with Trump slashing Biden’s Arizona vote lead from 79,000 to under 69,000 – a gap of 2.4 percent – with 86 percent of precincts reporting.
The results show Trump won the batches of ballots Maricopa County counted on Wednesday and early Thursday by a roughly 57-40 margin over Biden.
Both Fox News and The Associated Press news agency have already called Arizona for Biden, but the latest results have prompted hopes among Trump supporters that the president may be able to claw the state back.
Paul Bentz, a Republican pollster with the consulting firm HighGround, told the Arizona Republic that Trump needs to win 57.6 percent of the 470,000 votes that the paper estimates remain to be counted.
Maricopa County’s next update will come on Thursday night.
The U.S. presidential election is set to have global impact. Here’s how these countries react to #Election2020:
Trump allegations ‘undermined trust in democracy’: OSCE observer
The mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which monitors elections throughout Western nations and the former Soviet Union, said there was no evidence of election fraud in Tuesday’s vote which was “competitive and well managed”, despite challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions,” Michael Georg Link, who led the mission, said in a statement.
Protesters rally across US cities amid post-election uncertainty
With the US election down to the wire, thousands of people took to the streets in cities across the country – Trump supporters rallied in Detroit and Phoenix calling for officials to stop ballot counting, while the president’s opponents in New York, Portland, Seattle and others marched demanded a complete tally of the ballots.
The five key US states that will decide Biden and Trump’s fates
The US presidential race is now down to close contests in five key states – Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina and Alaska.
Biden, who has 264 electoral votes, has multiple paths to victory, while Trump, who has 214, would need to take all the remaining states.
Biden vows to rejoin Paris climate deal if elected president
Joe Biden has said he would immediately return the United States to the Paris accord if elected president, a day after Washington withdrew from the climate change pact.
“Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it,” tweeted Biden, who, if elected, would take the presidential oath on January 20.
A day after election, US beaks record for daily COVID-19 cases
The US set a one-day record for new coronavirus cases on Wednesday with at least 102,591 new cases and as hospitals in several states reported an increasing number of patients, according to a count from the Reuters news agency.
Nine states reported record one-day increases in cases on Wednesday: Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin.
Nevada, where Biden has a narrow lead, to release new vote totals on Thursday
Protesters gathered outside the Clark County elections office in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday evening, chanting “Count every vote” as unofficial results showed Democrat Joe Biden with a narrow lead over President Donald Trump in the state’s vote totals.
The top elections official in Nevada’s most populous county said more results will be released on Thursday morning that include mail-in ballots received on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that he did not yet have a number of how many ballots had been received but uncounted in the Las Vegas-area.
At stake in Nevada are 6 electoral votes.
Hello and welcome to Careerhelpbd continuing coverage of the US elections. This is Zaheena Rasheed taking over from Creede Newton.KEEP READING How does the US election work?Read what our opinion writers think of the 2020 US electionsIn undecided US election, Trump claims premature victory
Portland declares ‘riot’, deploys National Guard
Kate Brown, the governor of Portland, Oregon, activated National Guard troops after protesters engaged in what authorities said was “widespread violence” in the city’s downtown, including smashing windows.
“It’s important to trust the process, and the system that has ensured free and fair elections in this country through the decades, even in times of great crisis,” Brown said in a statement. “We are all in this together.”
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s office declared a riot just before 8:30pm local time on Wednesday (04:30 GMT Thursday) and made at least nine arrests, according to a statement on Twitter.
Earlier in the day, thousands of people held a peaceful rally, featuring lectures and music, demanding a complete count of the votes and an end to police brutality.
New York police arrest more than 20 ‘who attempted to hijack peaceful protest’
The New York Police Department said it arrested more than 20 individuals “who attempted to hijack a peaceful protest by lighting fires, throwing garbage and eggs” in Manhattan.
The NYPD said it confiscated knives and fireworks from some of the individuals.
Earlier on Wednesday, hundreds of people waving US flags and carrying signs that read, “Count every vote, every vote counts,” demonstrated peacefully at Washington Square Park after marching through midtown Manhattan.
Trump supporters protest at Phoenix vote-counting centre
Dozens of Trump supporters have converged on a vote-counting centre in Phoenix, Arizona, chanting “We love Trump” and “Stop the Steal” after the president insisted – without evidence – that there were major problems with the voting and the ballot counting in several battleground states.
The protesters filled much of the parking lot at the Maricopa County election center, where sheriff’s deputies were guarding both the outside of the building and the counting inside.
The Associated Press has declared Biden the winner in Arizona, flipping a longtime Republican state that Trump won in 2016.
Congressman Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican and staunch Trump supporter, joined the crowd, declaring: “We’re not going to let this election be stolen. Period.”
However, observers from both major political parties remained inside the election center as ballots were processed and counted, and the procedure was live-streamed online at all times.
All eyes on Georgia as vote counting continues
About 78,000 absentee ballots remain to be counted in Georgia as of 11:12 pm local time on Wednesday (04:12 GMT on Thursday), according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), as people across the United States watched to see if the state would flip to the Democrats.
There was a narrow margin between Trump and Biden in Georgia, with the president ahead by about 32,000 votes, the AJC reported.
The outstanding vote was primarily in the Atlanta area, which tends to lean Democratic.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he was pushing counties to complete vote tallies, adding that “strong security protocols” were in place “to protect the integrity of our election”.
“It’s important to act quickly, but it’s more important to get it right,” he said.
At stake in Georgia are 16 electoral votes. All absentee ballots were due on Tuesday.
Trump’s election legal strategy is last-ditch effort: Experts
President Donald Trump’s campaign has filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania, challenging the state Supreme Court’s decision to allow officials to count ballots received as late as three days after Election Day if they were postmarked November 3 or before.
The case is one of several legal challenges by the Trump campaign seeking to prevent the counting of absentee ballots.
Adav Noti, senior director of trial litigation for the election reform group, the Campaign Legal Center, said the Pennsylvania effort marks the most serious attempt by the Trump campaign to challenge vote counting. But even if the case advances, Noti believes it may do little to improve Trump’s success of electoral victory.
That is because Pennsylvania may not matter.
Find out why in this analysis from Daniel Newhauser in Washington DC.
As the polls opened on Tuesday, nearly 100 million Americans had already cast a ballot. President Trump closed his campaign by questioning the fairness of the election and raising the prospect of unrest. Joe Biden urged voters to end a presidency that has “fanned the flames of hate.”
Twitter and Facebook will warn users about election posts that prematurely declare victory.
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Voters take center stage as Election Day brings a bitter campaign to a close.
Voters went to the polls on Tuesday to write the final chapter of a presidential campaign that has been like no other, amid a coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 230,000 lives in the United States, cost millions of Americans their jobs and upended daily life and Election Day itself.
Nearly 100 million people had already cast their ballots before the day even dawned — taking advantage of states’ efforts to make voting safer during the pandemic. Among the early voters were President Trump and his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who both decided to forgo the traditional Election Day photo op at the polls.
Battleground states including Michigan and Pennsylvania were making news on the eve of the election not just for 11th-hour campaign stops, but for setting one-day records for new coronavirus cases. Contrary to Mr. Trump’s repeated insistence that the nation is “rounding the turn” when it comes to the virus, the U.S. is seeing more new infections than ever
Dr. Deborah L. Birx, who helps lead the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, delivered a stark private warning to White House officials on Monday, telling them that the pandemic was entering a new and “deadly phase” that demands a more aggressive approach.
Dr. Birx predicted that the United States would soon see days when the number of new cases exceeded 100,000, and she warned against the type of rallies that Mr. Trump has been holding, in which many attendees pack in close together without wearing masks.
The failure to contain the virus has decimated whole industries — costing thousands of jobs in travel, leisure, dining and entertainment. There are now five million more people unemployed now than when Mr. Trump took office in January 2017. And the recent recovery is showing signs of stalling, as hopes begin to fade that many jobs lost to pandemic would return swiftly. Hundreds of thousands of new jobless claims pour in every week; 2.4 million people have been unemployed for more than six months. Eight million people have slipped into poverty since May, according to researchers at Columbia University.
Millions of students are not taking classes in person, as many of the nation’s largest school districts are still offering remote instruction or a hybrid that combines some in-person schooling with classes from home. And with the United States still suffering one of the worst outbreaks in the world, travelers have found a U.S. passport is not always welcomed anymore.
The nation continues to be divided — and buffeted by fears of unrest and violence. As Election Day dawned, the sight of plywood being put up over windows from Washington to New York to Los Angeles sent an ominous sign.
Amid that backdrop, both campaigns have sought to set expectations — but not in the way campaigns typically do. The Biden campaign is seeking to remind people that it is highly likely that the winner of the election will not be known tonight, with many key states indicating that releasing official results could take several days. And Mr. Trump has repeatedly made baseless claims seeking to undermine the integrity of the election, with most polls showing him trailing Mr. Biden.
But even in the face of the added strains, there were long lines of eager voters ready to render their final verdict on the race in person, collect their “I voted” stickers and to walk out with the pride of taking part in a democratic process.
Patti Cohen contributed reporting.
— Michael CooperELECTION DAYUndeterred by the pandemic, Americans go to the polls to register their verdict on the Trump presidency.
Trump criticizes the Supreme Court, among others, on a grievance-filled final day on the trail.
President Trump used the first of his five rallies scheduled for Monday to air grievances about polls, the media and the investigation into Russian interference in the election.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Trump on Monday attacked the Supreme Court on several occasions during his final full day of campaigning before Election Day, accusing it of putting “our country in danger” with its Friday ruling, which would allow Pennsylvania to continue accepting absentee ballots after Election Day, at least for the time being.
In Kenosha, Wis., the fourth of five rallies across four states, Mr. Trump told a crowd, without basis, that the justices had made a “political” decision that would lead to cheating by his opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. His comments followed an angry tweet in which he charged — without providing any evidence — that the court’s decision would “allow rampant and unchecked cheating” and “induce violence in the streets.”
Twitter quickly flagged the president’s assertions as potentially false, saying that “some or all of the content shared in this tweet is disputed and might be misleading.”
The president’s remarks in Wisconsin echoed his comments earlier, in Avoca, Pa., where he had suggested cryptically that the Supreme Court decision could be “physically dangerous” without explaining what he meant.
Tom Wolf, the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, later responded to Mr. Trump on Twitter, vowing that “Pennsylvanians will not be intimidated” and telling the president: “You can watch us count every vote and have a fair election.”
Mr. Trump has for months falsely claimed that mail-in ballots are subject to rampant fraud despite overwhelming evidence that it is not true. In the last days of the campaign, Mr. Trump has focused intensely on Pennsylvania, where Republicans had legally challenged the state’s plan to accept absentee ballots for up to three days after Election Day.
On Friday, the Supreme Court denied a plea from Republicans in the state asking the court to fast-track a decision on whether election officials could continue receiving absentee ballots for three days after Nov. 3. The justices said the court could revisit the decision after the election.
Mr. Trump’s comments about the court came as he made his last pitch to voters. He also spent Monday airing grievances about polls, the news media, former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
At his first rally, speaking to a crowd in Fayetteville, N.C., Mr. Trump mentioned the coronavirus only in passing, to mock China, and to call on the governor of North Carolina to open the state. Instead, he began with a lengthy complaint about media-sponsored political polls. The crowd was mostly silent throughout. He finally wound it down, saying, “I hope I haven’t bored you.”
Pivoting to a familiar litany of complaints, he then derided the two-year investigation into possible conspiracy between his campaign and Russian officials; suggested that everyone in the media, and among his detractors, was “corrupt”; and called his predecessor, Mr. Obama, and his opponent in 2016, Mrs. Clinton, “criminals.”
In Kenosha, Mr. Trump continued to add to his long list of complaints when he was forced to use a hand-held microphone after multiple attempts to fix the one on his lectern failed. “This is the worst microphone I’ve ever used in my life,” he said, clearly annoyed. He promised that because of the audio glitches, he would refund everyone “half of your admission price.
“But considering that you paid nothing,” he said, “I’m sorry.”
Mr. Trump ended the day the way he began it, with a large rally full of supporters and a speech filled with digressions and grievances in Grand Rapids, Mich., the site of his final rally in 2016.
At one point, he acknowledged his adult children who were traveling with him, all of whom have held events on their own across the country, and he said, “No matter what happens I’m very proud of you all.” After a beat, he added, “But if we don’t win I’ll never speak to you again.”
Later in the speech, Mr. Trump played a video of Mr. Biden’s verbal stumbles and appeared to contemplate what losing would look like.
“What a disaster. I can’t believe this is even happening,” Mr. Trump said, adding, “The concept of losing to this guy! Oh, you better get out there and vote tomorrow. I will be so angry, I’ll never come back to Michigan.”
Joe Biden wraps up his campaign in western Pennsylvania: ‘The power to change this country is in your hands.’
PITTSBURGH — Joseph R. Biden Jr. closed his presidential campaign with a final burst of campaigning in western Pennsylvania on Monday, concluding with a drive-in rally outside a football stadium in Pittsburgh on a chilly autumn evening.
“Folks, I have a feeling we’re coming together for a big win tomorrow,” Mr. Biden told supporters who parked their cars outside Heinz Field.
“My message to you is simple,” he said. “The power to change this country is in your hands.”
It was the second straight day that Mr. Biden held a nighttime rally in his childhood home state, highlighting the critical role that Pennsylvania may play in determining the outcome of Tuesday’s election. And it was a full-circle moment for Mr. Biden, who gave the first speech of his presidential campaign at a union hall in Pittsburgh.
“Tomorrow is the beginning of a new day,” Mr. Biden said on Monday night. “Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has left hard-working Americans out in the cold. Tomorrow we can put an end to a presidency that has divided this nation and fanned the flames of hate.”
Many supporters stood outside their cars to watch the speech in the November cold, some of them waving flags. Others sat on their roofs. Lady Gaga performed before Mr. Biden spoke, and when it was the candidate’s turn, he delivered an emphatic condemnation of President Trump.
He was greeted by a cacophony of beeping horns, a familiar sound at his socially distanced drive-in rallies in the final weeks of the campaign.
Earlier, at a drive-in event with Black voters in Pittsburgh, Mr. Biden forcefully criticized Mr. Trump’s record with African-Americans, mocking him for asserting at the final debate last month that he had done more for the community than anyone “with the exception of Abraham Lincoln.”
“The truth is, Donald Trump has done more to harm Black America than any president in modern history,” Mr. Biden said, noting that Mr. Trump had pushed a conspiracy about former President Barack Obama’s birthplace and that he had called Senator Kamala Harris, Mr. Biden’s running mate, a “monster.”
Mr. Biden also made a stop in nearby Beaver County, which voted decisively for Mr. Trump four years ago, where he appealed to union members and emphasized his middle-class roots.
“What happens now, what happens tomorrow, is going to determine what this country looks like for a couple generations,” Mr. Biden said. “That’s not a joke. I really, genuinely believe that. There’s so damn much at stake.”
He first traveled on Monday to Ohio, a state that is seen as a stretch for him to win, where he held a drive-in rally at an airport hangar in Cleveland. But he devoted the rest of the day to western Pennsylvania, a crucial region in a crucial state. Mr. Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by less than one percentage point, and both he and Mr. Biden have focused significant attention on the state in the final days of the campaign.
While Mr. Biden was in western Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump was at the opposite end of the state, holding a rally near Scranton, Mr. Biden’s hometown, in the afternoon. Vice President Mike Pence also campaigned in the state on Monday, as did Ms. Harris, who wrapped up her day with a drive-in rally in Philadelphia.
Mr. Biden plans to return again on Tuesday with visits to Scranton and Philadelphia, and on Monday night, he declared, “The power is in your hands, Pennsylvania.”
Thomas Kaplan reported from Pittsburgh, Sydney Ember from Connecticut and Katie Glueck from Philadelphia.
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